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Channon v. Tavangar

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

March 22, 2019

MATTHEW J. CHANNON, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFF TAVANGAR, SHELLEY BACA, JENNIFER IRELAND, ARMADA GROUP, INC., NATALIE GANN, and TP-LINK RESEARCH AMERICA CORPORATION, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT NATALIE GANN'S MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. 41)

          WILLIAM P. JOHNSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant Natalie Gann's Motion to Dismiss, [Doc. 41, filed February 20, 2019]. Upon reviewing the parties' briefs and the applicable law, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         The following are allegations from Plaintiff's complaint, unless noted otherwise.

         On June 26, 2018, Plaintiff Matthew J. Channon filed his Complaint. [Doc. 1]. Plaintiff makes numerous claims against several defendants, including Defendant Natalie Gann (“Defendant”) in his Complaint. Plaintiff filed his Complaint pro se and was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

         Armada Group, Inc. (“Armada”), which has already been dismissed from this case, is a staffing agency that locates individuals who provide technical services and provides these individuals to Armada's clients, which are often technology companies. Defendant TP-Link Research America Corporation (“TPRA”), which was initially improperly served and now has been ordered to file an answer to the current case, is a technology company that develops, among other things, software for computer networking equipment. Defendant was formerly a human resources manager for TPRA.

         On June 25, 2015, Armada signed an agreement with Plaintiff Matthew Channon's company, Loitery LLC, under which Plaintiff's company was to provide services for TPRA. On that same date, at Armada's request, Plaintiff agreed to undergo a background check. Plaintiff claims he began performing services for TPRA on or about June 25, 2015, while his background check was still pending.

         After conducting the background check, Armada learned that Plaintiff was facing pending felony charges for wire-fraud in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.[1]Plaintiff received a number of calls from Defendant Shelly Baca on or about July 2, 2015, regarding the criminal charges. Plaintiff agreed to a conference call with Defendants Jeff Tavangar and Defendant Baca that same day. Plaintiff recorded the call.

         During the call, Defendant Tavangar and Defendant Baca asked for additional details regarding Plaintiff's pending charges. Plaintiff stated he had not been convicted of anything and recited to them California Labor Code 432.7(a). Plaintiff explained that he did not disclose the pending charges prior to employment because he had only been asked if he had any convictions, and he stated he had no convictions.

         Defendant Tavangar stated on the call that the charges were a surprise, and that he had no choice but to consult with TPRA. Defendant Tavangar stated that Armada was obligated under the contract to share the information with TPRA. Defendant Tavangar also stated that Plaintiff is not an employee of Armada, and that Armada had contracted with Plaintiff's company, Loitery, LLC, not Plaintiff individually. Defendant Tavangar stated that he and Armada would consult with TPRA and tell Plaintiff how they would proceed.

         Plaintiff returned to work on July 2, 2015 and continued to work on-site at TPRA. On July 14, 2015, Plaintiff was called into a meeting with Defendant Gann and Defendant Ireland. Plaintiff states that he was directed to leave the company laptop at his desk and was fired without explanation. Plaintiff was allowed to gather his personal belongings, directed to leave his keys and leave the work-site. Later that day, Plaintiff received an email from Defendant Ireland, with a carbon-copy to Defendant Baca, stating “in follow up to our meeting with TPRA HR, they have decided to terminate your engagement effective immediately. As such, your agreement with the Armada Group is terminated effective today.” Plaintiff alleges that he was fired for having pending criminal charges.

         This case is before the Court on diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiff asserts the following California state law claims against Defendant:

1. Count 1: Violation of Cal. Lab. Code. ...

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